So we got into the Sonnet Center and right away checked out the souvenir stand. I was disappointed. They had a few different T-shirts but only one sweatshirt/hoodie. The hoodie was a dark green color and only said CMA in small print on the upper left chest. It wasn’t something I was excited about so I opted not to purchase one. Everyone got a free souvenir program, which was like a thick magazine and pretty neat! We found our way to our seats by 6:30pm. They were announcing some of the awards that don’t get shown on TV (they announce them on TV, just don’t show people accepting them) and our very own Cornbread Morning Show from WIL 92.3FM in St. Louis won an award for large markets. Very cool! Bruce and B1 went out to get some dinner at the concession stand. I thought it was funny that we were at this “fancy” award show, yet the choice of food/drink was the same as if you were at a hockey or baseball game! Pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, beer, etc.! Kind of weird!
At 7:00pm, the show began. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley were the hosts. Sometimes, when I watch the CMA’s on TV at home, I just wish they would get to the awards sooner and leave some of the other stuff out. But since we were actually there, I LOVED seeing all of it! The large stage was being worked from 2 sides. On one side a singer or group would perform. While that was happening, on the other side, there was a wall which was about 8 feet tall that rose and lowered. Behind this wall, when it was down, there were lots of people working like little ants to get the next act ready to perform. The hosts would stand right in the middle of these 2 areas and while they were talking and the cameras were on them, the people at home could only see them and the area directly behind them, which was right in between the 2 performing areas. I watched the screen a lot to see exactly what I would be seeing if I was at home watching on TV. Darius Rucker performed from the side of the arena too on a little runway type of stage and Taylor Swift sang her second song while seated on a stool in the very back of the arena, surrounded by teenage girls sitting on the floor around her. We heard a lot of good music that night. And since then, whenever I hear a song that we heard live that night, it makes me think about what a nice time we had. So many good songs………! Of course for B1, the highlight of the night was when Taylor Swift was named Entertainer of the Year. I was a tinge bummed because I LOVE Kenny Chesney, but he’s had his fair share. (By the way, Kenny has announced only a couple of dates next year when he will be performing and get this…..one of them in on MY BIRTHDAY! How perfect would that be? It’s in Baton Route, LA. Hmmmm……).
After the show, we walked back to the red carpet area where many of the stars were leaving right away. We could hear people yelling out names as they saw some of the performers leaving. We stayed there only about 10 minutes and then opted to get on the road. Getting on the interstate was easy and as it turned out, we stayed at the exact same hotel again that night in Paducah! We were even in the same room! I made it to work the following day in plenty of time for my parent/teacher conferences.
It was a great 42 hours!